DASHER, GA (WALB) - Raintree Village has been nestled in the city of Dasher for 50 years now, but many folks don't even know it exists.
"Most people don't even know we're here. We're one of the best kept secrets in the Valdosta area," said executive director Kenny Holton.
It is a foster community in Lowndes County celebrating 50 years of helping local children, teens, and mothers.
The campus has the ability to house 25 members.
"We try to help them and give them a place of safety and structure," explained Holton.
"They come here and get mentoring, get the support that they need so they can do good in school, and graduate, and become active citizens in our community," said Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Bill Slaughter.
After five decades of service, this safe haven for community members is in need of some upgrades. Many of the buildings need new furniture, new floors, security upgrades, and the facility needs more reliable transportation.
"We don't want it to be an institutional setting," explained Holton, "We want them to feel like they're coming to any subdivision in the area. "
However, cuts in state funding make these renovations hard to do. Today, they kicked off a campaign to raise $500,000 for renovations. Funding community leaders say is crucial to helping those seeking care at Raintree Village.
"The support that they give these young people out here is tremendous and very important to Lowndes County," urged Slaughter.
There will be a benefit dinner and live auction in October for the community to help raise money.